Common Interest Community Board; established. (SB301)

Introduced By

Sen. Mary Margaret Whipple (D-Arlington)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Common Interest Community Board. Establishes a Common Interest Communities Board, creates a Common Interest Management Information Fund and allows for a certification process for Common Interest Association managers. Read the Bill »


03/26/2008: Passed the General Assembly


01/08/2008Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/09/08 087432844
01/08/2008Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice
01/16/2008Impact statement from DPB (SB301)
01/16/2008Rereferred from Courts of Justice (15-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
01/16/2008Rereferred to General Laws and Technology
01/24/2008Impact statement from DPB (SB301)
01/30/2008Reported from General Laws and Technology with substitute (10-Y 5-N) (see vote tally)
01/31/2008Committee substitute printed 089103844-S1
02/01/2008Constitutional reading dispensed (39-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/04/2008Read second time
02/04/2008Reading of substitute waived
02/04/2008Committee substitute agreed to 089103844-S1
02/04/2008Engrossed by Senate - committee substitute SB301S1
02/05/2008Read third time and passed Senate (21-Y 18-N) (see vote tally)
02/05/2008Communicated to House
02/12/2008Placed on Calendar
02/12/2008Read first time
02/12/2008Referred to Committee on General Laws
02/13/2008Assigned GL sub: Housing
02/20/2008Impact statement from DPB (SB301S1)
02/28/2008Reported from General Laws with substitute (22-Y 0-N)
02/29/2008Committee substitute printed 082419352-H1
03/03/2008Read second time
03/04/2008Read third time
03/04/2008Committee substitute agreed to 082419352-H1
03/04/2008Engrossed by House - committee substitute SB301H1
03/04/2008Passed House with substitute BLOCK VOTE (99-Y 0-N)
03/04/2008VOTE: BLOCK VOTE PASSAGE (99-Y 0-N)
03/05/2008House substitute agreed to by Senate (27-Y 12-N)
03/24/2008Bill text as passed Senate and House (SB301ER)
03/24/2008Signed by Speaker
03/26/2008Signed by President
04/01/2008Impact statement from DPB (SB301ER)
04/11/2008Governor's recommendation received by Senate


notanotherone writes:

This bill is bad news for homeowners who live in Homeowners Associations.

The text of this bill is identical to the text of HB516, introduced by Terry Suit.

See the comments posted on HB 516 and you'll understand all of the problems this bill brings.

fraidso writes:

The following was posted on this site as a comment to hb516, the text of which is the same as sb301's. Except for the info re the source of Terry Suit's contributions, this comment applies to sb301:

I was the victim of a CAI (Community Association Institute) affiliated management company in Fairfax County. Do a google search on "Koger Management" and you can read about the theft of millions of dollars.

Notice that I didn't say that my ASSOCIATION was the victim. As a homeowner, I pay the association's bills.

Ms. Suit's bill would appoints the fox, in the form of CAI affiliated HOA managers and lawyers, (they're all in the same trade association), to manage the henhouse.


Well, Ms. Suit's political contributions include $7,000 from the Va Association of Community Managers (a CAI affiliated trade association WITHIN a trade association), $5,000 fro the Great Eastern property management company, $1,500 from the Princess Ann property management company, and $1,250 from Pia Trigiani, a CAI affiliated lawyer from Northern Virginia and a member of CAI's Legislative Action Committee. Those are just the ones I spotted quickly.

I wonder whether Ms. Suit has any actual homeowners in her district?

You see, under her proposal not a SINGLE member of her 9 member "Common Interest Community Board" would even be required to actually LIVE in a "Common Interest Community."

This bill is CAI's attempt at "damage control" after the Koger debacle. They've resisted any type of government oversight of HOAs for years. Now, with homeowners waving pitchforks, they're ready to accept oversight -- as long as THEY'RE IN CHARGE OF IT.

We NEED government oversight. But we need oversight of HOAs themselves -- not just management companies. HOAs have been given much too much power.

Our oversight must protect Homeowners from BOTH associations AND management companies.

This is the biggest consumer protection issue that the Commonwealth has faced in years, and it needs to be addressed from that perspective. We wouldn't put an association of funeral directors in charge of protecting the rights of the bereaved, and we can't afford to have CAI. (or a paid CAI political hack) in charge of designing the solution to this problem.

A Koger Victim in Northern Virginia

thoughtful writes:

This is a bad bill. Here is another comment that was posted re HB 516:

The changes this bill would make to the Property Owners Association Act are far too sweeping, and far too ambiguous, to be approved in a 60 day legislative session. In the immortal words of Ricky Ricardo, Ms. Suit has some "splaining" to do.

This bill does, in fact, appear to have been drafted BY the HOA management industry FOR the HOA management industry.

Millions of Virginians live in HOAs and "HOA Horror Stories" have become commonplace. We are long past the time when the legislature can accept the claim of the HOA industry that these stories are "isolated incidents." Moreover, even a cursory search on the internet indicates that law firms and management companies associated with the Community Association Institute appear to be on the wrong side of a disproportionately high percentage of HOAs with "horror stories." CAI does not appear to have, much less to be, the "solution" to the HOA problem.

There must be a governmental agency available to homeowners aggrieved by their HOAs. That agency must be empowered to provide genuine redress and to penalize managers and directors who exceed their authority under the POAA or their governing documents.

When complaints are made against HOAs or management companies, they should be logged into a searchable database and tracked from the date of filing through resolution. Associations, management companies, and board members found to have violated the law should have that information available on the internet for 5 years so that others electing boards or selecting management companies will have access to this information.

And the agency empowered to provide this protection to the homeowners and consumers of Virginia must NOT be under the control of the CAI "HOA mangement industry."

Virginia regular writes:

Only 3 out of the 9 proposed Board members are Virginia citizens. Of the 3, one of them should have served as an Association Board member. So just 2 regular Virginia citizens. This is a bad, bad bill. Nothing in it for regular citizens. We need Govt oversight not more CAI oversight. We need better laws protecting us from the abuse of HOAs and CAI. More protection not more victims. Please vote to kill this unfair and unjust bill.

thoughtful writes:

This bill went before the General Laws & Technology Committee of the Virginia Senate on January 23rd.

The account I received said that the hearing room was filled with reps from the Community Association Institute (CAI). The CAIers apparently expected this bill to have smooth sailing through the Committee.

That's not what happened.

The calls and emails to Committee members raising serious questions about this bill led the Committee to table it until next week. It looks like the Committee meets each Wednesday, so the next hearing would be on January 30th.

Read the bill and weigh in with the Committee. This is a very bad bill for homeowners and it won't be "fixed" by next week.

Understand CAI writes:

The Community Association Institute (CAI) is a trade association. It is primarily composed of, and overwhemingly controlled by, the management companies, law firms, and other "vendors" who sell services to homeowners associations.

To understand CAI's anti-homeowner agenda, just do a few google searches. Do one on "CAI Lawyers." Do on on "CAI" and "foreclosure."

Homeowners and legislators all over the country have begun to realize that CAI does NOT speak for the homeowners.

SB301 is CAI's attempt to use the criminal actions of Koger Management Company (a CAI member) as a launching pad to establish a CAI monopoly on oversight of homeowners associations in Virginia. If this bill passes, CAI will use the powers granted by this bill to protect the interests of its members and NOT the interests of homeowners.

This bill needs to be stopped.

Speaking of CAI & Google writes:

In Virginia, the Community Association Institute has a "legislative action committee," or "lac."

Lawyers on this committee probably drafted SB301 and HB516.

They never told homeowners what they were up to, but that's par for the course with CAI.

If you do a google search on the terms "valac" and "lac pack" you'll find the page that the Virginia CAI LAC uses to recruit new members.

You'll read their boast that VLAC is like "a pack of wolves." You'll read their warning to vendors who aren't members of their LAC that "A lone wolf is often a hungry wolf." These are their own words!

Hmmmm....what do these "wolves" eat?

What are they "hungry" for?

Their only source of "nourishment" is
MONEY -- and their only source of MONEY is YOU, the HOMEOWNER.

You'll pay your money in the form of "dues" to your HOA, (which in turn pays the CAI vendors). You'll also pay any "fines," imposed by the HOA's own Kangaroo Court, (Code of Virginia 55-513.B.ii), or "special assessments" or "charges" that the CAI LAC can convince the legislature to let them get away with.

Under Virginia law (Code of Virginia 55-516.I), The equity in your home will be forfeited if you don't pay. And you will LOSE your home by nonjudicial foreclosure -- without any court proceedings whatsoever -- because that's the way CAI thinks that HOAs should be able to handle "debt collection."

That's why they band together as a "pack" -- in order to more efficiently separate you from your money.

They've pretty much had their way with the Virginia Legislature for a long time.

And NOW they want the legislature to appoint members of their "wolfpack" to guard the "sheep."

The "sheep" would be YOU, Mr and Mrs Homeowner!

Maybe -- just maybe -- now is the time to take the first small steps toward making Virgina homeowners "wolf proof."

The legislature should vote NO on SB301.

Nero writes:

Can a "Common Interest Communities Board" as envisioned by this bill solve the problems of HOAs in Virginia when the Board only meets four times a year? I don't think so.

Some of the powers given to the Board could be put to good use for homeowners, but only if the powers were in the hands of a permanent, independent, state agency with the staffing and budget to make HOAs follow the law.

Maybe we should give these powers to the State Corporation Commission, maybe the Attorney General's Office, maybe the Real Estate Board. But this bill would, for all practical purposes, give oversight responsibility to a trade association.

If the special interests bulldoze this bill through the legislature, Virginia homeowners will pay the price.

Home for the Brave writes:

The idea of a common interest community board is a bad one. Everyone has a tale to tell about being a victim of a home-owners association at the hands of the hired community manager. Now they want home owners to be subject to a board that is staffed with community managers from the trade association. What good is a certification board staffed with community managers?

If the Commonwealth is foolish enough to create a community board, then the majority of seats on the board should be limited to virginia citizens living in a HOA who are not members of a trade association or employees of a management group. One last question--- was this bill introduced to protect the citizens of Virgina or is this bill an effort by the community managers and the trade association to be free from government oversight by being "self regulated?"

Vote No on SB301 let it die in committee.

Will this fix SB301? writes:

Here's what someone posted as a comment to this bill's counterpart on the House side, HB516:

Suppose we took the good parts of this bill and combined them with Del Marshall's HB206. This would put oversight of HOA's under a reorganized and empowered Division of Consumer Protection. It would seem that this would best provide consumer protection for homeowners in HOAs, and would keep the "industry" from trying to control the oversight process.

I think this might have some merit. I sure don't want the HOA lawyers and their pals in the management companies overseeing themselves. But I DO want REAL government oversight of Homeowners Associations, and I'd sure like something positive to emerge from the infamous Koger scandal.

amen writes:


No wolves allowed writes:

If this passes, all HOA managers in Virinia will have to be "licensed" by this CAI controlled Board.

THe bill suggests that the easiest way to qualify for a license will probably to get certified (as a PCAM, CCAM, etc) by CAI.

This will expand CAI's member base and political power. Given CAI's track record, that will not a good thing for homeowners.

Rene B. Alvir M.D. writes:

Please vote NO for SB301 because the homeowners rights will be compromised and will be at the mercy of the Home Owners association which are controlled by management companies, law firms and other vendors who sell their services to home owners associations.
The home owner's assoc. are abusing their powers in the detriment of the homeowners who do not have the resources to fight the home owner's assoc.

GA HOA GUY writes:

If SB301 and HB516 that proposes to create a common interest community Board were featured on the DR. Phil show, he would surly say, What were you thinking ! Or Lee Iacocca from his new book, WHERE HAVE ALL THE LEADERS GONE????, .. We've got a gang of clueless bozos steering our ship of state right over a cliff, we've got corporate gangsters stealing us blind,...
Think about what Virginia is proposing, a committee who has legislative powers with no public accounting or oversight with the majority of members composed of people who may not even be residence of the State. And who in part or in whole who depend on associations for their livelihood so in the end who will they really be representing, just look for the wolf in sheep's clothing. Iacocca is right our State leaders have become Bozos.

hoa dweller writes:

I live in an HOA in Virginia. The Board of Directors here uses a management company and law firm that are both big players in CAI. We have suspected that there have been kickbacks to the management company from several of our contractors (snow removel, pools, landscaping etc). The Board is charging fees and writing rules beyond their authority under the POAA or our documents.
When we ask to see books and records, when we challenge their authority to enact or enforce a rule we get the royal run-around, and at the end of the day the Board will smugly say the same thing every time: If you don't like it, sue us. If you don't pay what you're told we'll sell your house on the courthouse steps. There's nothing you can do about it unless you hire a lawyer.
And they're RIGHT! There is not a single Office in Virginia that performs anything close to real oversight of these HOA's where millions of us live!
We need an Office we can go to for consumer protection.
An Office that is set up to help homeowners. Not an Office "Of CAI, by CAI, and for CAI."
Please vote NO on this bill!

Fairfax County HOA Resident writes:

I think CAI really has things their way with the Fairfax County government.
The County Office of Consumer Affairs refuses to even take complaints about HOAs from homeowners. The Office is run by Cal Wagner, who is a CAIer and who used to be the CAI liaison to the county. There's an "educational TV show uphere on Channel 16 that's really little more than a CAI "info-mercial." NOBODY gets on the show except CAI lawyers and managers, and you really get the "CAI party line." They ignore important consumer friendly case law like the Gillman case and White v. Boundary Assn.
Please, legislators, kill SB301 and pass legislation that creates a STANDING, INDEPENDENT, and EMPOWERED state Office that will FINALLY provide CONSUMER PROTECTION to HOA homeowners.

Dorothy & Toto writes:

Here in Richmond, the CAI Munchkin Chorus is rehearsing their victory song. This was posted as a comment to HB516:

OK, Munchkins (and Senators)! Sing along!

The Bill of Rights is Dead

(By the CAI Munchkin Chorus)

Hi, ho we won the fight!
We're in charge of oversight!
Ding, dong, the Bill of Rights is dead!

Sunshine laws no longer shine!
We’ll meet in secret all the time!
Ding, dong the Bill of Rights is dead!

We’ll do just as we please!
Foreclosures, fines and “transfer fees!”
They’re on their knees! The Bill of Rights is dead!

It’s gone where the sun don’t shine and NOW we’re free to fine, so

Kiss all your rights goodbye!
And never challenge CAI!
Don’t even try: the Bill of Rights is dead!

I live in HOA in VA writes:

This bill is exploitation, pure and simple.

The management companies are trying to turn the Koger scandal to their own advantage by getting the legislature cede oversight of HOAs to the management companies.

A year ago these Bozos were guaranteeing the legislature that there WERE nNO problems in HOAs except for a few "isolated incidents." Now the situation is so bad that we need this half assed "fix"? I don't think so.......

Consumer writes:

Well, this passed in the Senate General Laws committee, but not without opposition.

Looks like the Housing Subcommittee of the House General Laws Committee will get it next week, maybe Wednesday.

I sure hope they kill this thing.

George K. Staropoli writes:

Boards and committeess are very ineffecti9ve becasue the government allows special interests to control them. See problems in Florida with DBPR and its Ombudsman. On the other hand, see how Arionza's Office of Administrative Hearings has helped homeowners win 42% of complaints against HOA attorneys. See

It's an independent adjudicative agency without another agency's ability to override ALJ decisions. See its web page at

George K. Staropoli writes:

Oppps, not enough coffee when writing prior post.

Good Grief! writes:

SB 301 squeaked by in the State Senate.

Vote was 21 - 18.

Too bad.